Traditionally this blog has focused on retailers that are located in the Twin Cities but lucky for our readers we are going to expand into new territory, Green Planet Consignment is located at 14186 Northdale Blvd., Rogers, MN and for everyone that resides in this area of the metro this shop is a must.
I was spying on the owner Laurie as she helped ring up customers during the busy event.
It was a beautiful summer night and I decided that I should make the drive out to Rogers for a Girls Night Out event. The event was to celebrate the anniversary of the shop and also to raise money for Carrie’s Closet – a non-profit organization that we have featured in the blog before. Carrie’s Closet is an amazing cause that helps provide clothing for people who don’t have access or resources to even shop at thrift stores. A lot of poverty happens in rural areas so it is wonderful to know that people in different areas of our state are working on such thoughtful projects. Clothes have a huge effect on people’s self esteem so having access to new and different garments can make all the difference to someone’s situation. Sol Inspirations is in complete behind Green Planet and we obviously believe that Carrie’s Closet is a worthy cause and I was excited to support their mission and to explore a new consignment shop.
I introduced myself to the owner of the shop during the party, a lovely woman named Laurie Rejzer who was working hard the whole night to pull together a fantastic event, she was so hands playing the part of MC during the fashion show, to running one of the check out lines. After connecting with Laurie at the event I did an informal interview over email and it was so interesting to learn about her journey and the history of Green Planet Consignment.
When I asked about Laurie’s career path I was quite impressed, “Design, Art and Technology had been critical parts of my career.. I had managed teams and budgets and knew how to handle vendors and the public.” Laurie worked for companies and with brands like Dayton’s, Target, Mervyn’s and United Health Group.
Laurie explains further how she ended up owning Green Planet, “I knew nothing about the consignment business. I had never owned a business before. I lived in Wayzata and Rogers was just a place you drove through on your way up north. I took a huge risk, saw that a 3 year old consignment shop was for sale. There were things I liked about it when I first walked in, and many things I didn’t like. Most of the staff were wonderful, hard working, dedicated to the store’s success, but were disabled by the owners lack of focus. Basically, I saw a lot of potential.. and that’s what I bought.. potential, possibilities, the excitement of thinking where it COULD be. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it, and it completely energized me. That’s why I got into this business. I loved the “Green” aspect of consignment.. that items wouldn’t go into landfills, and people would buy beautiful, upscale brand clothing and decor if it were presented well, in a shopping environment that was unique, local and supported the community. Also, Rogers didn’t have anything like this shop within many miles.”
To a lot of people in the Twin Cities thinking that Rogers is halfway to Fargo, it is honestly it’s only about 25 minutes outside of Minneapolis and there a lot of cool benefits of this location as Laurie explained to me, “I am from the Wayzata/ Lake Minnetonka area. Rogers for me was by Monticello and Alexandria. But I did a demographic study and learned that it’s not just farmers living here, but many middle class families.. most of which make well over $75,000. People here value local, small business moreso than I think the suburbs. It’s easier and cheaper to get a float in the local summer parade (Rockin Rogers), to sponsor a high school dance team, or donate to a charity that works directly with our community. People seem so appreciative of our efforts to differentiate ourselves from the franchise chain consignment stores out there. They notice everything.. from new mirrors in the dressing rooms, to new finches in one of our bird cages. That tells me they are adopting us as THEIR local consignment store. Initially, it was a struggle to get the word out about Green Planet as we’re retail in an industrial building and not easily accessable. Signage was a big investment for me, but it’s made a lot of difference.”
The target customer for this retailer is a woman between the ages of 28-55, these women usually have kids and are working. They live somewhere close to the Rogers community, loves unique items and enjoys the boutique settings for her shopping. Bargain minded shoppers partnered with a great sense of style and quality. She is involved in the community and is eco-conscious.
When I asked Laurie about her personal environmental concerns she replied, “Personally, I drive a hybrid car, recycle everything, try to buy organic and plant, plant, plant!” She is such a fun personality with spunk and the know how to continue enhancing this business. When we discussed the future of the business her response was perfect.
“I would love to capitalize on my store concepts, and see if this model is scalable. Most of it has been quite successful. Since I have owned the store (14 months) revenues have increased an average of 45%, we’ve added staff, we are closing in on 1,000 FB followers and we have added almost 500 new consigners. We’ve hosted 6 big events that include Girls Night Out, Sidewalk Sales, Earth Day celebration, Holiday Party (catered, styled, staff dressed in our vintage including hair/makeup) Winter Clearance events and had a ball with a float at the Rockin Rogers days parade. We’ve added so much new and different merchandise, and increased our marketing efforts 4 times. I would like to expand, but we’re not quite at that point yet.”
The partnership with Carrie’s Closet is so perfect.
“One of my team told me about his organization. I was looking for a local charity that would make good use of the expired clothing we couldn’t sell, and hopefully funnel that back to the community. When I read about Carrie Ann Lorman, and how her friends had banded together to create a completely selfless charity, focused on giving and expecting nothing in return, I was hooked. I have met Shelly and Brooke Lorman, Carrie’s mother and young daughter, and they couldn’t be more wonderful. We bag up as much as we can, and Jessica Bloom and her crew come and pick up our items right from the store. Another bonus for us is that consigners are told what happens to their items when they leave them at the store past their consignment dates… they feel very good about that. Carrie’s Closet promotes us as well, and we’ve been so happy to be able to fundraise for them at our various events.”
To wrap it up I just asked her what her favorite part of her job was.
It was so nice to meet someone who is so passionate about her environmentally conscious fashion business, we really appreciate what she does and hope that people will continue to support her business!
// CONNECT //